6 Tips for Protecting Your Lungs

We only get one set of lungs so it’s imperative that we look after them. This is even more important when it comes to diseases that directly affect the lungs, as keeping lungs healthy can help slow down the progression of the disease and ease the symptoms. To help you take the best possible care of your lungs, we’ve put together a list of six tips using information from the American Lung Association.

MORE: Nine types of interstitial lung disease

Don’t smoke
Cigarette smoke is the leading cause of lung cancer and other serious lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchiectasis. If you have an existing lung disease, smoking will only hasten the progression of the disease and worsen the symptoms.

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do to protect your lungs. If you find it difficult to quit on your own, ask your doctor for some practical help.

Avoid pollutants
Home and workplace chemicals, heavy traffic pollution, chemical fumes, smoke, secondhand cigarette smoke and even some toiletries such as perfumes and hair products can aggravate the lungs. If you can’t avoid being exposed to these pollutants, ensure that you have adequate ventilation or wear a face mask.

Test for radon
Get your home and workplace tested regularly for radon, a naturally occurring gas that is colorless and odorless. Radon builds up over time due to uranium in rocks and soil breaking down and goes through chemical changes from uranium to radium to radon. Once the radon starts to break down it releases radioactive byproducts which can be inhaled.

MORE: What is interstitial lung disease?

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